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[667] Heyne, Peerlkamp, and Ribbeck object to these lines as incongruous. At first sight the introduction of the infernal regions seems our of keeping with the rest of the portraiture. But we must consider that Virg.'s obgect here and elsewhere is to tell incidents pictorially: and it doubtless seemed to him that he could not better distribute praise and blame, with the materials at his command, among national benefactors and national criminals than by representing their fortunes in the other world. which are as it were emblematic of the judgment of history. Catiline's death in battle would not have told its own story, nor would any event in Cato's life have represented the position which Virg. wishes to assign to him. So in G. 3. 37 foll., Virg., wishing to express symbolically his reprobation of the enemies of Caesar, places them in the infernal world. “Taenarias etiam fauces, alta ostia DitisG. 4. 467. It is diflicult to say whether ‘alta’ there and here is high or deep.

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    • Vergil, Georgics, 3.37
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.467
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